Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Books of 2015

From the March 2016 Print Edition

We suffer nowadays from a surfeit of literary anni­versaries. One blurs into the next until we begin to long for a moratorium. And yet even so, a few such occasions are welcome. The 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland yielded a splendid array of exhibitions, lectures, and books, . . . . Continue Reading »

Books of 2014

From the March 2015 Print Edition

The books of 2014, like the books of any year, utterly exceed our grasp. In one aspect, they suggest (they mimic, we could say) the divinely gratuitous excess of Creation; seen from another angle, their multiplicity reflects our fallenness, our propensity to error, our confusion. We need to hold . . . . Continue Reading »

Ray Bradbury, the Pedestrian

From Web Exclusives

In the month since Ray Bradbury died at the age of 91, a host of tributes have appeared, touching on almost every salient aspect of his long life and his exceptionally many-sided work. Yet one theme worthy of attention, so it seems to me, has been largely ignored. “Largely,” I say”not entirely… . Continue Reading »

Wrapping Up 2008

From the December 2008 Print Edition

Ah, the books of 2008: Who can number them? All About the Beat and The Art of the Public Grovel; American Earth and American Pests; The Lost Spy and The Terminal Spy. This was the year of Original Sin and The Forever War and a great wall of books about China. Fiction? Palace Council and Moscow . . . . Continue Reading »

Language, Truth, and Murder

From the May 2007 Print Edition

The Right Attitude to Rain by alexander mccall smith pantheon, 288 pages, $21.95 Hard to believe that, only a handful of years ago, the name Alexander McCall Smith would have drawn a blank among American readers. An African-born academic in Scotland who specializes in medical law and frequently . . . . Continue Reading »

The Lilliputian Imagination

From the May 2006 Print Edition

There’s an ancient human dream to be tiny: to make a hammock from a leaf and sup on nectar, to soar on a falcon’s back. This longing turns up in the folklore of fairies and the wee people, and its guises are sometimes charming, sometimes malign. Patrick Leigh Fermor tells of Voodoo adepts . . . . Continue Reading »

A Writer in Flight?

From the January 1997 Print Edition

The Statement By Brian Moore Dutton, 250 pages, $22.95 Brian Moore writes about the life of faith from the perspective of a long-estranged insider. Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1921”the family home stood across the street from the Grand Lodge of the militantly Protestant Orange . . . . Continue Reading »